Georgia Power and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are conducting an 18-month study to evaluate how solar photovoltaic power systems may affect the utility's distribution system.
Fifty PV systems are being installed in seven cities around the state, and seven to eight small systems will be installed on one distribution line in each city. Sites were identified based on a number of environmental parameters, including temperature, cloud cover and solar intensity, Georgia Power and EPRI note.
EPRI will monitor each modules' power output and sunlight input at one-second intervals for the entire 18 months to determine how much electricity they generate and how well they perform under diverse weather conditions. The panels will remain in place at the end of the project, and Georgia Power will continue to monitor long-term results.Â
According to Georgia Power and EPRI, the research will allow them to identify the effects, if any, on the operation of Georgia Power's distribution system, understand the feasibility of widespread solar PV installations on distribution lines, determine ranges for overall PV performance in Georgia, and characterize and compare variable issues, such as passing clouds.
SOURCE: Georgia Power